Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Print this Article

On March 1, the Judiciary and the Health and Government Operations Committees will hold a joint hearing on the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 bill. There has been a tremendous amount of interest in this bill, and I expect a spirited hearing.

In its present form, this bill is 38 pages long and covers a variety of issues. I appreciate the opportunity to summarize the bill as I understand it, but please know that because of the many items contained in the bill and the likelihood that there could be a number of amendments, the final bill could look much different.

With that in mind, I would at least like to give you some of the highlights of the bill:

As drafted, the bill would:

•Not prohibit lawful citizens from obtaining or owning a handgun and keeping it in their home.

•Not require additional licensing procedures for hunting rifles and shotguns.

•Not force citizens who lawfully possess an assault weapon to surrender their weapon.

•Not prohibit authorized personnel from carrying or transporting a hand gun.

•Not require current lawful gun owners to retroactively obtain a license.

As drafted, this bill would:

•Ban military-style assault weapons.

•Reduce the allowable magazine capacity from 20 rounds to 10 rounds.

•Implement a system of licensing requirements for handguns with age restrictions, mandatory safety training requirements, a background check, mandatory fingerprinting and an attestation that a person is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing handgun under state or federal law.

If you would like to follow the progress of this legislation, I encourage you to go to

In the meantime, I look forward to fair and complete hearings that will produce a bill that provides for safe communities while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners and enthusiasts.

Del. Peter F. Murphy, Bryans Road

The writer is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Charles County’s District 28.